Date: 2/5/2003


F. Braudel on the Hindu Holocaust.(From F. Braudel's 'History of Civilizations, page 232.)

'Muslim India (1206 - 1757) was pioneered in the seventh century by the

foundation of trading colonies on the Malabar coast, and confirmed in 711-12

by an invasion from Sind and the establishment of various inland colonies.

Muslim India spread very slowly across the lands that led to the Indus and the Ganges. Later, it tried in vain to conquer the whole of the subcontinent.

The Muslim for a long time to gain possession of the semi-desert area of Northern India. Even by the early eleventh century, in A. D. 1030, only Punjab was in their hands. It took them two centuries more to found the Sultanate of Delhi (1206) and extend it to Northern India - a key stronghold which gave them everything or almost everything.

The conquest, successful after countless setbacks, ended in wholesale

military occupation. The Muslims, who were few in number and based solely in

the larger towns, could not rule the country except by systematic terror.

Cruelty was the norm - burnings, summary executions, crucifixtions or

impalements, inventive tortures. Hindu temples were destroyed to make way for

mosques. On occaision there were forced conversions. If ever there was an

uprising, it was instantly and savagely repressed: houses were burned, the

countryside laid waste, men were slaughtered and women were taken as slaves.

Usually, the plains were left to be run by native princes or village

communities. These intermediate authorities were responsible for paying heavy

taxes which were sometimes the counterpart of a certain autonomy, as in the

case of the rajahs of Rajputana.

India survived only by virtue of its patience, its superhuman power and its

immense size. The levies it had to pay were so crushing that one catastrophic

harvest was enough to unleash famines and epidemics capable of killing a

million people at a time. Appalling poverty was the constant counterpart of

the conquerors' opulence, including the splendour of the palaces and feasts

in Delhi, which the sultans had made their capital, and which was a source of

wonder to Muslim travellers such as the famous Ibn Batuta.'

(Note: Ferdinand Braudel was quite sympathetic towards Islam in his writings; this makes the above passage all the more credible. A reminder of what Islam in India represents.)